In the Tom Cruise filmography, there’s one film that’s often disassociated from the star’s 1980’s output. Sure, you’ve got your Top Guns and Days of Thunders, your Risky Businesses and All the Right Moves. But how does one place Ridley Scott’s 1985 epic fantasy Legend in the Tom Cruise oeuvre? That’s what we’re going to find out.
Wednesday @ 9pm ET, the #Bond_age_ crew is going unicorn deep in the realm of mystical fantasy. Our first voyage into these lightly trodden waters since our bit of time traveling with Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits. If I’m being completely honest I don’t remember much about this movie other than Mia Sara (because let’s face it, we all had a Mia Sara crush in the 80’s), sparkly unicorns and Tim Curry. Which is more than enough to make it our feature presentation for Tom Cruising: Volume 5.
We’re also welcoming another live tweet host into the #Bond_age_ HQ this week. Alec Deacon (@MrAlecDeacon) will be steering this week’s pleasure cruise because he is A) a huge Tom Cruise fan and B) another warm bodied live tweet host that can fill in when I’m on the lam.
Originally, I’d planned on a little Diana Rigg action this week, but the chosen film that once existed on YouTube now can only be viewed in some mis-framed abomination that I just will not allow on my #Bond_age_ broadcast network. Never fear, I’ve taken the opportunity to order a UK DVD of the movie and Diana will make her Ladies’ Night appearance at a later date. What this means for you more immediately is that Jill St. John got moved up to fill Emma Peel’s shoes. I realize that this is not a one-for-one swap, but I have faith that the film that we are scheduled to view this week will make up for the Jill St. John to Diana Rigg deficit.
Jill St. John’s most visible big screen role was of course Tiffany Case in Diamonds Are Forever. But here are a few things about Jill St. John that you might not realize.
At age 11 in 1951, Jill St. John (born Jill Arlyn Oppenheim) appeared in two episodes of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. She signed her first motion picture contract with Universal at 16 and made her big-screen debut in Summer Love (1958) starring opposite John Saxon. She received a 1964 Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Come Blow Your Horn (which also featured a guy named Frank Sinatra). She also appeared in the first two episodes of the Batman television series as the Riddler’s moll Molly and appeared in “The Yada Yada” episode of Seinfeld withhusband Robert Wagner.
Our Jill St. John movie of the week is the Rod Taylor-starring semi-sincere spy thriller The Liquidator (1965). Dropped in the middle of the spy-crazed 60’s, The Liquidator features a title-track sung by Shirley Bassey and a Lalo Schifrin score. Schifrin claimed to have consciously distanced himself from the Barry-style scoring done for the Bond films. Taylor plays Sergeant “Boysie” Oakes, an agent that literally “oopses” himself into the employ of the British secret service to eliminate leaks within the agency. Off the record, of course. Things go well until Jill St. John enters the picture (Isn’t that always the case? Get it? CASE? TIFFANY CASE?) and Oakes finds himself in over his head.
Join #Bond_age_ for the Ladies’ Night live tweet of THE LIQUIDATOR on July 19th @ 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag. An embed will appear on the Programming tab of this site.
If I need to introduce the 40th Anniversary of The Spy Who Loved Me I haven’t been doing my job. Roger Moore’s finest hour as Bond premiered on July 7th, 1977. All you need to do is show up and offer some amazing live twatter in respect.
#Bond_age_ live tweets The Spy Who Loved Me on Wednesday, July 5th @ 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag. Check the Programming page for embed.
At a certain point early this year when I plotted out all the Bond anniversaries, I had a brain gaffe, a cloud perhaps, and listed Live and Let Die as old old 45er. As we all know, Roger Moore starred in Live and Let Die during the great year of 1973, not 1972. So.
That left an opening this week among three other Bond-versaries. I’d moved all the other regular programming around to make June an old fashioned month of #Bond_age_. No Tom Cruising. No Ladies Nights. No Year of the Spy. So when I suddenly had an opening, I consulted the #Bond_age_ viewers enjoying their slice of the 30th Anniversary The Living Daylights Live Tweet. Unanimously the entirety of Twitterdom called out “We want more Dalton! Let’s watch Licence to Kill next week!”
Okay, so it was two people and one of them, Krissy Myers, has a corner office at the #Bond_age_ volcano lair. (We tell her it’s a corner office, but since it’s a volcano it’s pretty clear to everyone that there are no specific “corners”.) How could I deny such high volume demand for more SMOLDER!?! I would never turn down more Smolder. I would never turn down Carrie Lowell. Nor Robert Davi’s iguana. Or Benicio’s “Honeymooooooooo….”
So this week join #Bond_age_ for the LICENCE TO KILL (just because) live tweet on June 28th @ 9pm ET. Follow #Bond_age_ hashtag. An embed for LTK will reside of the site for viewing. Also, worth noting: all future #Bond_age_ live tweet programming will be housed at www.thejamesbondsocialmediaproject.com/programming. <—Bookmark that page!
I may be on vacation, but I wanted to make sure I announced The Living Daylights 30th Anniversary Live Tweet on Wednesday, June 22nd at 9pm ET. In case you missed the crux of that message, the Living Daylights is celebrating 30 years of CELLO! and you should be there for all the Smolder. Follow the #Bond_age_ hashtag.
Bond 25 News and Rumblings: Christopher Nolan’s Syncopy to Produce?
We’ve waited months for any shred of information about the next entry in the Bond series, and this week we’ve been hit with a cold, dead WTF fish. A WTF fish wakes us from our stupor. Initially the impact feels refreshing. News! News! And then once the thrilling sting dissipates, the curious stench of the cold, dead partially decomposed WTF fish remains.
The news broke this week via the @Bond25 twitter account that IMDb had listed “Bond 25” under the “In development” projects at Syncopy, Christopher Nolan’s production company. After the Interwebs verified this news with IMDb, they jumped to the conclusion that Nolan had been slated to direct the next Bond film. Let’s not plan on James Bond carrying any shark-repellant Bat Spray in his attache case just yet.
Christopher Nolan contemplates the ways in which he can make Batman and James Bond the same character once and for all.
Nolan and Syncopy’s involvement in Bond 25 makes more sense when paired with a few other interesting developments. First, the distribution rights for the film remain up in the air. Family-held Eon and MGM control the fate of the franchise but do not distribute the films. Sony Pictures Entertainment has released all of the Craig-era Bond movies, but their contract expired after Spectre. Five studios, including Sony, have made their best pitch to land the rights to distribute James Bond. The others are Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox, and the little upstart that could, Annapurna. Though Eon retains almost complete creative control, the distributing studio — as the Daddy Warbucks of this operation — will have some creative input. The selection or approval of a director, perhaps.
Bond 25 Scores a Director?
WICKER PARK, Paul McGuigan, 2004, (c) MGM
Rumors broke this week that Eon has been meeting with potential Bond 25 directors and the name Paul McGuigan sits high on their list. McGuigan has a curious big-sceen resume consisting of Wicker Park, Gangster No. 1, Lucky Number Slevin and Victor Frankenstein. Let’s not dwell on the latter two titles for long as they only serve to further dampen potential enthusiasm. McGuigan has shown more consistent talent on the small screen, having directed the Sherlock pilot for the BBC and two episodes of Luke Cage. More importantly McGuigan helmed Eon Productions’ upcoming release Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool, which puts his foot firmly in the door to Babs’ office.
McGuigan’s precisely the kind of director that has excelled in the Bond universe. Short on tentpoles, long on small successes, adept at ego-less shepherding rather than innovating. See Martin Campbell, John Glen, Lewis Gilbert. If there’s a specific creative direction that would most benefit Bond in 2017 and beyond, it’s a step back from Batman and a step closer to Sherlock Holmes. Therefore, If Eon hopes to sell McGuigan to a potential distribution partner, Christopher Nolan and Syncopy become the insurance policy on their undervalued commodity.
Rachel Tallalay talks Dr. Who.
Another name I heard mentioned in idle chatter is Rachel Tallalay. The Tank Girl director helmed an excellent episode of Sherlock (“The Six Thatchers”) and boasts Dr. Who, The Flash and Supergirl credits. I normally leave such musings on the message boards, but selecting a clearly qualified female director for a James Bond film would create immediate and generous buzz for the already high-profile project.
Sidenote: Here’s a crazy idea. And I’m just spitballing here… but let’s call Martin Campbell. Just to see what if he can fit Bond in around his fishing schedule.
This all comes, of course, in the void of any definitive word about the face of the franchise, Daniel Craig. I’ve been saying this since the release of Spectre: I think Craig will come back for one more film. We’ll never know what’s actually on Craig’s mind because he loves lobbing holy hand grenades of misdirection during interviews. If he hasn’t yet made up his mind, we should also consider that any one (or all) of these behind-the-scenes machinations aim to keep Craigers in a tuxedo for a fitting final entry in the Daniel Craig-era. If he isn’t returning, well… let’s brace ourselves for the impact of yet another WTF fish in the near future.